Checking insulation could save dollars as weather cools

October 11, 2018

With conditions beginning to cool, it’s a good time to make sure your attic isn’t going to be costing you money.

Cory Fuehrer, Nebraska Public Power District EnergyWise program manager, said there are a few things to check in the attic, starting with places that could be leaking warm air.

“Light fixtures and can lights, especially those manufactured before 2004, have plenty of holes and gaps to allow for air to escape from the living space into the attic,” Fuehrer said. “If these are installed wrong, you could be paying to heat your attic.”

Can lights should have a cover that separates the fixture from insulation in the attic, and spray foam insulation should be applied to seal air leakages.

These leakages can also occur around ductwork that drops in from above the ceiling.

“During the summer, cool air passing through uninsulated ducts in warm attics can cause condensation on ductwork, and dripping will occur,” Fuehrer said. “This can lead to mold growth and safety issues. Uninsulated ducts are also at risk of becoming rusted and leaking conditioned air.”

Properly insulating your attic is also a major key to energy efficiency throughout the year.

The Department of Energy recommends homes in Nebraska have a R38 insulation value or better.

“Without realizing it, you could be losing more than 30 percent of the heat in your home through your ceiling. If you don’t have at least one foot of batts, blankets, or blow-in loose-fill insulation, you probably have an energy efficiency improvement opportunity,” Fuehrer said.

These types of insulation often have an R-value of 2.8 to 4 per inch of material.

Fuehrer said homeowners who heat their home with electricity should check with their energy supplier to see if they have any incentive programs available to help resolve these issues.

For more information on NPPD’s EnergyWise incentive program, go to NPPD’s home page at www.nppd.com.

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